3rd Day of Yule: The Noble Virtue of Courage

Courage...If you look in wikipedia (oh, the know it all of information in the WWW) you can find that the words is defined as "the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. "Physical courage" is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while "moral courage"act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement." How many times are we confronted by life? How many of our actions require us to have courage, to stand up for what we believe in? How many of us face these fears when we act in favor of those who cannot fend for themselves?

Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was a person who taught us courage. Her daughter, Rubi, was murdered over two years ago. As the justice system in Juarez stood still and did nothing, she set out in a crusade to find her daughter's killer. She found him, she handed him in, he confessed to the crime... and then was released by the penal system in the State of Chihuahua because of lack of evidence.

Marisela was overtaken by pain. Her only daughter's killer was being set free by the same penal system who is supposed to protect us from people such as this. She wouldn't have it. She set out to recapture this person and confronted the state, municipal, and federal government about it. She received many threats to her life, to the life of her beloved ones... And then, it happened... as reported by Front Line, "On the evening of 16 December 2010, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was holding a peaceful vigil, together with other families of victims of femicide, against the absolution of her daughter's killer, outside the Chihuahua State Governor's Office. A security video recording is said to show a car arrive at the scene carrying a number of masked men. One man allegedly approached the human rights defender and exchanged words with her. She attempted to get away but the man followed her and shot her in the head. He immediately fled the scene. Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was taken to a local hospital but died shortly afterwards as a result of her injuries".

What is courage? standing up for your daughter, for another's daughter, for a city that needs it. If the authorities believe we are going to be silenced by these acts of criminal randomness, they are profoundly wrong.  I, along with all those who are tired of living in fear, are standing up, fighting for our city, and joning forces to bring all those people who believe that by silencing our voice, they will silence everyone else.

Our fight is just beginning.

In memory of Marisela and Rubi Escobedo


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